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For those that need some inspiration and motivation

What's your story? Discussions your reasons for going abroad.

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For those that need some inspiration and motivation

Postby adann » March 8th, 2014, 5:20 am

To those that are feeling depressed and need some sort of inspiration/motivation. Here is my story and it's quite long. I understand how you are feeling because I was just like you.

Back in 2004, I was unemployed (for 2 years), didn't have any educational degrees or a girlfriend. I was living with my parents and all I did was play video games everyday. I didn't know where I was headed in the future but I knew I was lonely and wasn't very happy. Also I was very shy and couldn't really talk to girls.

One day I remember stumbling upon a website/advertisement about teaching and living overseas. I had never been overseas before and so I thought maybe I needed a change in environment. I did some research on what I needed in order to teach abroad and found out that I needed at least a bachelor's degree. However to get a degree, I needed money too. So I began researching and writing up a plan. First I needed to get a job and save up money, apply to a university and earn my degree. With a goal set I had something to strive for.

So a few months later I found a job working at a warehouse (graveyard shift) I didn't earn much but I was able to save over $1000 a month while living at home. I worked there for a year and then applied and got accepted into the closest university in January 2005. This allowed me to continue living at home (save money) and work at the warehouse during the weekends.

During this time I was also thinking about where I wanted to teach English. I recall reading newspapers about how China's economy was rising and therefore decided I would teach English and learn Chinese at the same time.

I enrolled in a general BA program and took extra courses during the summer so that was able to graduate in June of 2007. Later on I also enrolled in a TESOL certificate program because I wanted/needed something to make up for my lack of teaching experience.

After graduating I did some research on the job market and found out I could teach at a language school and earn more money or I could teach at a college and earn less money but have more free time. I decided on the latter and eventually found a college in Hangzhou. I found the contact info for the college and emailed them directly. I got a reply a few days later for a phone interview and passed it!

I was ecstatic! It would be my first job abroad. I would be provided housing and I would be teaching 16 hours a week. The position didn't pay much, about $500 a month but the costs of living were much lower in China.

I left Canada in August for China to begin my new life abroad. During my first year in China I was able to make some good Chinese friends there and even a Chinese girlfriend. In this new environment I got phone numbers, talked to girls and laughed easily. It was a great feeling. Back in the west, girls were intimidating and had 'bitch shields' so I never had the courage to talk them

Later on I finished my contract for my first job and and eventually found a better paying position in Shanghai the following year. I was paid twice as much and the job also provided housing as well as utilities. I continued dating the same girl but we eventually broke up because I didn't want kids. Anyway It wasn't long before I met other girls and ended up with my second Chinese girlfriend. She didn't speak English at all but my Chinese was good enough that we didn't have any communication problems.

To review again, I had a plan and stuck to it for almost 4 years until I was able to work abroad. It wasn't something that happened overnight or in a few months. Do some research, make a plan and stick to it, you will thank yourself later. Also learn the local language, it will open doors for your career and women.

On a side note teaching English may not suit all guys but for those like me who don't/can't succeed in having an online business. Teaching allows me to earn money and live abroad. Thanks for reading
Last edited by adann on January 17th, 2017, 7:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby jamesbond » March 8th, 2014, 8:30 am

Congratulations adann, your story is very inspirational. Like the old saying, "where there is a will, there is a way." :D
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Postby xiongmao » March 8th, 2014, 11:14 am

Wow, great story!

I hope younger guys can learn from this (Magnum would have loved to read this).

Yes teaching English is still a good way to finance your overseas living. I've done well with my online businesses, but it's ferociously difficult to launch anything these days. Even Winston's empire will fall if he doesn't keep working at it.

If you're patient the best thing to do is to get a career, get a job and bank every last cent. Don't take taxis, walk. Don't go to the movies, don't go to restaurants. At work drink the free water cooler water. After 3-4 years in a good(ish) job, those saved dollars suddenly turn into tens of thousands of dollars.

Anyway, keep us posted on your travels!
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Postby zboy1 » March 8th, 2014, 2:07 pm

Great story, Adann!

A major tip for any newbies interested in teaching in China: NEVER, EVER use a third-party recruiter to find jobs in China: contact schools directly or find jobs that will pay you directly without using any agencies. That way, you won't get screwed over with your pay---such as them taking half your pay as "fees"--like most crooked agencies in Asia like to do.
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Postby IronChemist » March 15th, 2014, 4:14 pm

Would signing up for a search engine like TIE online be considered an agency?

Also, we have those employment agencies in america, called "temp agencies" and they do eat up half your pay as well.
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Postby MatureDJ » May 29th, 2014, 1:51 pm

I teach English in Eastern Europe as an independent, which helps pay my travel bills. (I still kick in a little on the side from my fairly nice sized retirement account.) For the man who doesn't have a nest egg to draw on like I do, a full time English teaching job at a school would do the trick.
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Postby MatureDJ » May 29th, 2014, 1:54 pm

xiongmao wrote:Wow, great story!

I hope younger guys can learn from this (Magnum would have loved to read this).

Yes teaching English is still a good way to finance your overseas living. I've done well with my online businesses, but it's ferociously difficult to launch anything these days. Even Winston's empire will fall if he doesn't keep working at it.

If you're patient the best thing to do is to get a career, get a job and bank every last cent. Don't take taxis, walk. Don't go to the movies, don't go to restaurants. At work drink the free water cooler water. After 3-4 years in a good(ish) job, those saved dollars suddenly turn into tens of thousands of dollars.

Anyway, keep us posted on your travels!

There is a website called Mr. Money Moustache, which is geared toward the very early retiree lifestyle. Yes, it is definitely possibly to build up a nice nest egg in a relatively short time frame (i.e., 10 years) with a decent paying job and a very cheap lifestyle.
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Postby In2dadark » May 29th, 2014, 2:51 pm

Great story. Don't listen to old curmudgeons like me.
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Postby Tezcatlipoca » May 30th, 2014, 5:41 pm

Thanks, this is very encouraging. Right now, I am doing sales to become more outgoing like my old self and going through school for engineering. I just needed to know hard work would get some kind of reward/light at the end of the tunnel.. to be a eunuch for 4 years to finance some old bitch who has f***ed every guy on the planet makes me want to vomit.
Stop being angry at the stuff you don't have (yet) in life and instead focus on how to get it.
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Postby abcdavid01 » May 30th, 2014, 7:45 pm

Wow, seven years later and that sounds exactly what I'm trying. I leave for Shanghai in three weeks until August. It's to learn Mandarin for my major and when I return I have a final year of college. Then I'm thinking about getting a TESL degree and heading back, improving my mandarin even more.

Congratulations pal.
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Postby Jester » May 31st, 2014, 2:29 am

This thread should be bumped, and bumped, and bumped again.

I hope my son reads this!
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Postby Jester » May 31st, 2014, 2:31 am

abcdavid01 wrote:Wow, seven years later and that sounds exactly what I'm trying. I leave for Shanghai in three weeks until August. It's to learn Mandarin for my major and when I return I have a final year of college. Then I'm thinking about getting a TESL degree and heading back, improving my mandarin even more.

Congratulations pal.


Congrats to you, for being ON TRACK, ABCDavid!
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Postby abcdavid01 » May 31st, 2014, 3:18 am

Jester wrote:
abcdavid01 wrote:Wow, seven years later and that sounds exactly what I'm trying. I leave for Shanghai in three weeks until August. It's to learn Mandarin for my major and when I return I have a final year of college. Then I'm thinking about getting a TESL degree and heading back, improving my mandarin even more.

Congratulations pal.


Congrats to you, for being ON TRACK, ABCDavid!


Thanks pal. :)
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Postby Cornfed » May 31st, 2014, 4:20 am

This is all well and good, but TEFL is hardly a stable environment with a promising future. The pay and conditions are getting worse all the time pretty much everywhere. Wouldn't it make more sense to get into something that might turn into a longer term career?
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Postby starchild5 » May 31st, 2014, 4:34 am

Great....Inspiration Thanks
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